UAW Annoyed With GM's Mexican EVs

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

General Motors has decided its fifth electric vehicle facility should be in Mexico and has set aside $1 billion for its complex in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico. While a portion of the funds will go toward a new paint shop, the manufacturer also said the money would be used to prepare the site for EV and battery production, angering the United Auto Workers (UAW).

“This is a slap in the face for not only UAW members and their families,” stated UAW Vice President Terry Dittes. “General Motors automobiles made in Mexico are sold in the United States and should be made right here, employing American workers.”

General Motors announced its investment in the Arizpe Ramos Manufacturing Complex via the GM-Mexico website on Thursday. The other planned EV plants are located in Spring Hill, Tennessee; “Factory ZERO” at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly; Orion Assembly in Orion Township; and CAMI in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada — with the final example also receiving some union pushback.

The union claims that General Motors having requested significant investments in EVs (in the form of subsidies) from the U.S. government makes this decision particularly unpalatable. Dittes said it wasn’t just an affront to UAW workers but also to American taxpayers, noting that vehicles manufactured in Mexico will eventually be transported back across the border to be sold stateside. His solution was to just move the jobs back north to support U.S. businesses and labor.

“That is why our nation is investing in these companies,” Dittes said. “Taxpayer money should not go to companies that utilize labor outside the U.S. while benefiting from American government subsidies. This is not the America any of us signed on for. Frankly, it is unseemly.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D) was inclined to agree, hinting at a possible boycott of GM products manufactured outside of the country.

“Electric vehicles must be built here in America by the finest workforce in the world — the American worker,” she elaborated. “Not one American dollar should support our own jobs being shipped off to Mexico – especially when we have the workers and the technology to manufacture the best vehicles of the future here at home. General Motors needs to reaffirm their commitment to working, American families. I am focused on ensuring auto innovation and manufacturing stays in the hands of hard-working American people so that the United States can remain the global leader for the next era. Legislation I am leading in Congress, the U.S.A. Electrify Forward Act and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Future Act, will modernize and expand programs used to build and retool auto factories in the United States so that future generations of American workers will benefit long-term and at the same time decarbonize the economy.”

GM’s rebuttal has been to point out the 9,000 (eventual) jobs created inside of America through the other EV facilities and issuing reminders that its commitment to electrification is still being upheld through these actions. But the UAW won’t have dominion over any of them until it manages to organize and get the automaker to acknowledge some kind of contract.

“We are really proud about contributing to GM’s vision of a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, by the production of electric vehicles,” said Francisco Garza, GM Mexico president and managing director, in a statement. “We are confident that future economic conditions will enable this investment to eventually grow the complex workforce in some operations from two to three shifts.”

More details will need to be provided before we learn exactly what Ramos Arizp will be producing. The site is currently responsible for the Chevrolet Equinox and Blazer with room leftover for powertrains. The other four facilities will be building the EV600 electric delivery vehicle, Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Cruise AV, Origin robotaxis, GMC Hummer EV, and the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado electric. There’s a chance Mexico could be tapped to assist with some of the aforementioned models, though the rumor mill claims it’s being prepped for electrified utility vehicles.

[Image: Chess Ocampo/Shutterstock]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Master Baiter Master Baiter on May 02, 2021

    "...must be built here in America by the finest workforce in the world — the American worker..." LOL. Go visit a factory in China. Not to worry UAW. When you are all out of work, Biden and the Dems will cut you a check every month to stay home and play video games.

  • Dantes_inferno Dantes_inferno on May 04, 2021

    Hey UAW, repeat after me: Hecho en Mexico.

  • MGS1995 Apple CarPlay is a must. Everything from maps to music, texting to phone calls. Agree with Syke, didn't know what I was missing until I used it.
  • Syke Very. Having Apple CarPlay in my Bolt has been an eye-opener for me. One of those "got along fine without it until I tried it, now, how did I ever live without it?" applications. Yes, I'll accept an equivalent, maybe, after I've tried it out for awhile.
  • Teddyc73 Oh look, dull dreary grey with black trim. How original. The greying of America continues.
  • Redapple2 It doesnt cost much for the mfr to add it as standard. Car makers always strive to surprise and delight the customer. Always ask yourself when considering a new ride, are they trying to take of me- treat me or screw me hard. Take the vampire. A couple quick- come to mind -examples. 1 deleting carplay. 2 buy a Denali and Chrystal Pearl White paint is $1295. On a 2024 Subaru Forester is free. I d put it to you, the Forester's paint is better. Do your own test. Is the Evil gm Vampire trying to Surprise and delight you or screw you??
  • Tassos Wise decision, esp if we are talking about UAW goons. ANd never hire them back, AUTOMATE or shut down the joint.